The Johnstown Flood

by David McCullough | History |
ISBN: 0671207148 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 11/5/2017
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Sunday, November 05, 2017
I found this softcover in this Little Free Library in Ridgefield CT while dropping off some books of my own, and nabbed it for another release copy.

[There's an excellent audiobook version of this, read by the late Edward Herrmann.] The Johnstown Flood Museum site has more information on the 1889 disaster.

I knew the general outline of the story, but this book not only fills in a lot of the back story but also adds accounts from many survivors, highlighting the confusion, terror, and tragedy of the disaster. There are maps of the region, including a helpful one that shows the course of the water and also a chart showing the respective altitudes of the town and the dam, clearly demonstrating how the water got so high.

There are photographs showing the scope of the destruction, including the stone bridge that was both a boon and a bane - it held fast and stopped much of the flood debris from continuing on to wreak more havoc, but by causing all that debris to pile up against the bridge it resulted in a horrific death-trap, where flood victims were pinned in the rubble, many of them unable to escape even when the piles of wooden wreckage caught fire...

There were heroic acts, some successful, some tragic - and there were plenty of examples of people whose survival hinged on one moment's decision. But the flood was worse than almost everyone expected, and what warning they received was too little, too late, so the death toll was immense - whole families wiped out, in some cases.

[One of the survivors was teenage Victor Heiser, whose story intrigued me enough to find a copy of his autobiography, An American Doctor's Odyssey. Having survived the flood, and the loss of his family, it seems that very little else would phase him in his life!]

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Little Free Library, 214 Main St. in Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Sunday, November 05, 2017

Released 1 yr ago (11/5/2017 UTC) at Little Free Library, 214 Main St. in Nashua, New Hampshire USA


I left this book in the Little Free Library on this grey afternoon. Hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

*** Released for the 2017 The The release challenge. ***

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